Post # 1
Hey bees, I’m in the home stretch! Just a few more kinks to work out. Mom told me Dad was upset with my decision NOT to have a receiving line after our church ceremony and he thinks people will be expecting one. I don’t want to do it for multiple reasons:
Our ceremony is at 3 (not a full mass), so it should end around 3:30. We’d like to snap a few pictures at the church of just me and Fiance, maybe the parents, but that may take about 20-30 min. Our reception site is about 20-30 min away with traffic. We were hoping to make a pit stop, en route, to the bar where we hung out when we started dating. Photog would get a quick photo of us slamming a drink, then on to the reception site for pictures. Photog wants 1.5 hours for pics. So we don’t expect to be AT the reception site until close to 5. Cocktail hour starts at 6, dinner at 7. I was hoping to show up for part of the cocktail hour and also need time to freshen up.
I feel that most people expect you to make your rounds during the reception, going table to table to say hi — even IF you do a receiving line.
My logic: a receiving line will take WAY too long ( we have 170 guests!) and will cut into photo time. Plus, it will be redundant since we plan to say hi to every guest at the tables as their eating/waiting for food. But some people say its hard to catch everyone doing this and it also takes up a lot of time. Maybe a receiving line would give me a chance to say thanks to all the guests (and they can see my parents), but I think it can’t take the place of table visits, right?
Instead, we were planning to walk out of the church first, but duck into the side room, then have all the guests exit the church and have a bridesmaid or friend tell them to hang on the steps, then we come out and they do the whole bubble thing, we circle back to the side of the church to sneak back in and get pics as the guests leave.
What did you do? What are you planning to do? Advice? Any good arguments I can present to my dad as to why we should not do it?
Post # 3
I agree with you that receiving lines are a pain in the rump, but if your family wants one and expects one you might have to cave. We lined up right outside the doors of the chuch so guests could say hello as they walked out. We kept it only to the bride and groom and our parents, which kept things quick. Another tip is to always make sure there’s someone to your right, so guests keep moving. If you’re at the end of the line people will stop and talk forever! We had 140 guests and no exaggeration the line was done in 15 minutes. It hardly took anytime at all and I was so happy that I didn’t have to worry about finding time to say hi to everyone individually at the reception.
Post # 4
We plan to usher our guests out in place of a receiving line. That way, we are in charge of the hug/kiss/love you/thank you and keep things moving in a pace we prefer, rather than waiting on the line to move to us. We’re planning on doing this with 300+ guests, so hopefully 170 guests would go quick.
I do agree, though, that if your family really wants one and are expecting one, I’d just suck it up and do one. It can be really tough to catch everyone at the reception when you’re trying to eat and being pulled in 100 different directions for dances, photos, cake, etc.
Post # 5
I didnt have one and I feel as though they create a bit of a delay between ceremony and reception
Post # 6
Your family might be expecting one if you have a large guest list like that. Usually if the guest list is over 50 people a receiving line is standard. If you think you will be able to make it around to all of your guests to say hello at the reception I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
In my personal experience receiving lines take less time than you would think since everyone is pushing to get out of the church and this stops up the doorway and stairs. My aunt had a wedding around the size you are expecting. She had a receiving line and walked around to guests at the reception. The only problem they had with walking around to guests at the reception was that it took so long most of the traditional events were massively delayed. The party felt like it dragged on a little since everyone had to wait longer for dancing, cake cutting, etc.
Keep in mind that talking to guests at the reception will also take longer since the setting will make people want to chat for extended periods of time. I’ve seen a lot of weddings where the bride and groom were held up at every table while the guests gushed about every little detail.
Post # 7
We are not having one, and my grandparents are pretty upset about it…
I just do not think we can. We are exiting our ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage that will take us to a site for pictures.
Our ceremony and reception are taking place just steps from each other. Guests will walk right over to cocktail hour immediately following the ceremony..
However, we are going to walk around and thank each table during the reception. We invited 170, but we are hoping for more like 130ish.
As long as you find time to see and thank everyone for coming at some point, I don’t think the receiving line is necessary.
Post # 8
I didn’t know anything about receiving lines before my pastor basically required us to have one (but we’re only having 30 guests at the ceremony)
I don’t know what to tell you!